Battle of the Enforcers
- As a fight fan who watches no other sports, it's easy to forget how big fighting is in the hockey culture. In 2005, a PPV event hosted a hockey fighting tournament for ex-players.
The winner was Dean Mayrand, a former amateur boxer as well as hockey player. In boxing, he holds a victory over fellow hockey enforcer and current MMA fighter Steve Bosse.
Any chance this could be combined with the pairs' ice dancing at the Neolympics?
Originally Posted by Holy Moment
Say, two couples skate the first halves of their programs at opposite ends of the rink, then they come together at central ice for 2 minutes of fighting, hockey-fight-rules, each team's woman fights the other woman and the same for the men. Then whichever team has fared better in combined scoring up to that point get to finish their routine.
(Just a suggestion.)
On a more serious note, I watched a documentary recently about the guys who come up through the junior leagues as career enforcers. By the time they get to the NHL (if they do) and last a few years, they end up having been in maybe a thousand or more fights. Most of them have with little or no real training as to how to avoid injury. They often end up being badly impaired from occasionally being on the receiving end of blows from sticks or other gear, hitting their head on the ice during fights sometimes, getting concussions when the other guy happens to land one of those haymakers both guys are expected to throw if they want to keep the fans happy and keep their jobs, etc. In a lot of ways, their situation is worse than that of punch-drunk fighters or former NFL players. The individual blows aren't as heavy, but there are so many hockey games in a season and a primary enforcer / goon is often in at least one fight per game.
It's another one of those situations where the paying customers like the game with the violence the way it is, so the league has very little incentive to do anything but tweak rules about removing safety equipment during fights or other minor changes that show "concern" without addressing the bigger issue, like the NFL diddling around with the kickoff line.